I was participating in a discussion at the Women in Photography group at LinkedIn recently as many of us are connecting to each other. We had a discussion about the importance of letting people know where they came from, rather than just send the standard invitation that LinkedIn provides. Here is my commentary on that subject:
Checking the box does show up on the invite when received via email but isn’t that obvious – the message that is sent says: I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn, which is rather impersonal and if people don’t notice the bit above that says about the group, then they wouldn’t know why you’re sending an invitation.
I often write and speak about the importance of building relationships when networking so I encourage people to change that standard message that LinkedIn sends to something else that explains the reason for connecting. Even if it’s something like: ‘hi, I’m a member of the women in photography group and would love to connect with you’ or you could even say how much you’ve enjoyed someone’s commentary. It does make it more personal and encourages people to accept invitations.
You might be interested to know I often get invites from people I don’t know personally. I accept immediately if they explain their interest. If they don’t I will reply and ask them where they found me or what their interest is. If they reply I then accept. If they don’t reply I assume they don’t read their emails and why would I want to connect with someone who doesn’t want to continue working at building a relationship? They’ve ignored me which doesn’t give me confidence in what their interest maybe. Some people just want to grow numbers but not get to know others.
This is a topic I teach about often so it’s something I’m passionate about and hope it helps many of you too 🙂
So, as a Virtual Assistant, it is also important for you to explain why you wish to connect with people too, and encourage them to explain their interest to you. Open the doors to communication and you have no idea what it might lead to. Those VAs who are most successful at social media and building business do so by connecting with others and building relationships and getting to know their needs. You can’t do that if you don’t converse. Why not try it today?